It was market day today and I scored a $10 half bushel of peaches from Oliver, BC. They aren’t the most gorgeous specimens but they were cheap! And, I’m going to get about 27 cups worth of jam out of them. They can’t be that bad, either, as the girls have eaten about four between the two of them today.
Since they don’t seem like the awesomest peaches (yes, I like to make up words), I wanted to make something beyond a fruit-pectin-sugar jam. I turned to Food in Jars for inspiration and found this recipe: Honey-Sweetened Peach Vanilla Jam. The honey idea stuck with me so I ran with it, but, of course, I didn’t have everything the recipe called for and I wasn’t confident in getting a good gel from my peaches without adding some pectin. This is what I ended up doing and I think it turned some not-so-fantastic peaches into a wonderful little something to smear on my toast in the morning!
Well, that’s three peachy posts in a row: Honey Peach Jam, Maple Peach Semifreddo, and Peach Maple Cardamom Skillet Upside Down Cake. I hope that you will get to enjoy some of this season’s bounty. Peaches are just starting in our neck of the woods, so there’s lots of time to try out all of these delicious concoctions.
Honey Peach Jam
Makes about 9 cups
Time: about an hour
A delicious taste of summer in a jar, with warmth from Vanilla & freshness from lemon zest.
Lightly adapted from Melissa McClellan’s Honey-Sweetened Peach Vanilla Jam (2013)
- 5 lbs peaches (~18 peaches for me)
- 2 c honey
- 1 c sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp double strength vanilla
- zest from one lemon
- 3 tsp Pomona’s pectin
- 4 tsp calcium water
- Skin peaches (I put them in a big bowl and pour a kettleful of boiling hot water over them, then use a paring knife and/or rub the skins off).
- Put the honey, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest in a large heavy pot, like an enamel cast iron dutch oven. Stir.
- Chop the skinned peaches and add them to the pot.
- Cook on medium heat.
- When the fruit begins to soften, mash with a potato masher to break up the fruit.
- Monitor the heat, stirring occasionally, and turning it down to low/medium-low, as required. You want it to be simmering away, but never want it so hot that you’ll burn the bottom – something to watch for as it begins to thicken.
- Cook for about a half hour.
- Scoop out some liquid from the top of the cooking jam and put it in a vessel suitable for mixing this hot liquid with the pectin. I use the taller measuring cup that came with my immersion blender. Add the powdered pectin and blend.
- Pour and scrape the pectin mixture into the fruit mixture and mix and/or blend as needed to mix the pectin in thoroughly and to get the final texture you want (chunky or smooth or somewhere in between).
- Let cook a few more minutes, the jam will start to thicken a bit more.
- Mix in the calcium water thoroughly and then scoop the jam into clean jars.
I tend to make a lot of freezer jam for simplicity’s sake with the kids around, it’s just one less step for me. (That and I have a love for uncooked fruit freezer jams as that’s what I grew up with, so it is my habit for jam.) I’ll leave it up to you to refer back to Food in Jars or another site that you trust for processing information if that’s the route you choose to go, and remember to factor in you altitude for processing times.
Notice: Lindsay Bliek is a participant in the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.ca.